miércoles, 19 de diciembre de 2012

Best photos of the year 2012 by Reuters - PART II



“Indian matters in my country are always a constant subject in the media, with the majority of the news being about conflict over land ownership and Indian rights within the law. I always thought that the majority of Brazilian Indians had a strong desire to be integrated into urban society, watch TV, movies, drink cold water, and use cell phones. But after coexisting with Yawalapiti Indians for a few days I realized that this wasn’t the case. When I reached the village a cacique named Aritana immediately authorized me to photograph their village, but I soon realized that I also had to convince the rest of the tribe. I spent the first day just trying to become one more of the community, and getting to understand how they lived, what they did, and how they were organized. I suffered the anguish of missing wonderful images because I knew that first I had to gain their confidence without the aggression of photographing. I had to show them that I knew the difference between intimacy and privacy. In that way many of them understood that I was a friend, and not an intruder. I did make friends and conversed with some to try and understand them better. I earned the nickname of Banana, for the bunches of bananas that I carried with me to their village. I also gained the confidence of many children, who followed me wherever I went. They loved to play in the trees, and during the hottest time of the day they played in the nearby river.”

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV, lens 24mm, f1.4, 1/4000, ISO 50

Caption: A Yawalapiti boy dips his head into the Xingu River in the Xingu National Park, Mato Grosso State, May 9, 2012. In August the Yawalapiti tribe held the Quarup, which is a ritual held over several days to honor in death a person of great importance to them. This year the Quarup honored two people - a Yawalapiti Indian who they consider a great leader, and Darcy Ribeiro, a well-known author, anthropologist and politician known for focusing on the relationship between native peoples and education in Brazil.


“With very little understanding of astronomy but with the aid of a phone app, I began a three evening attempt to capture the moon with the Olympic Rings. The rings were hanging iconically on Tower Bridge for the London 2012 Olympic Games and it was suggested to me that a full moon should – at the right angle – cross through them.

Day One – Having planned to be in the “perfect” spot on London Bridge with a good view of the Olympic Rings further up river and using the app information, I waited for the moon to rise. However the horizon itself was a little cloudy. When the moon eventually showed itself about 10 minutes after the app’s moonrise time it was off to the right hand side of the bridge. I hadn’t taken into account that the moon wouldn’t rise in a vertical line but would travel across the sky. So, by a combination of it appearing late through cloud and miscalculation, I was totally in the wrong place. I rushed carrying the tripod with a heavy 400mm lens attached and the rest of my camera gear hanging off my shoulders – running off the bridge, down several flights of steps, and to the path alongside the River Thames to try re-align the moon with the rings. However, the moon moves surprising quickly. I couldn’t manage to run far or fast enough in time to get the image before the moon rose high, over and above the bridge.

Day Two – Armed with my 400mm, only a monopod and less gear, ready to run after the moon should I be in the wrong location again, I returned to London Bridge. A recalculation had been made. The moon was rising later and at a slightly different angle to the night before. From my previous mistakes I knew that when the moon was on the horizon it needed to be to my left in order for it to move across through the rings. However, to my dismay, the rings were not there. As Tower Bridge is a combined bascule and suspension bridge (i.e. the carriageway lifts to allow boats through) it had raised in preparation to allow a vessel through. I waited just in case they might be lowered, taking in the misfortune of looking at what would have been the perfect shot – that didn’t happen.

Day Three – I returned to the bridge, worried that the rings would be raised once more. But no, great news, they were down. I readied myself at the predicted angle to the rings. The moon would be rising at 8:50pm and would hit the rings by about 9pm. As the moon had been rising later each evening it had become darker than the previous evenings. I wished I had my tripod. Nonetheless, using the Canon 5D MkIII meant I could push the ISO a little further than I would normally have chosen for a late evening shot. Exactly on time the moon began to show itself over the horizon, a lovely peachy color. I had to keep an eye on a changing exposure, balancing the brightness of the moon with a rapidly darkening sky. As it rose I had to keep moving along, mercilessly pushing tourists out of the way who had stopped to look, in order to keep the moon in line with the rings. Finally, after three days, I had the picture I had been trying to achieve.”

Canon 5D Mark III, lens 400mm + x1.4 converter, f4, 1/400, ISO 4000

Caption: The full moon rises through the Olympic Rings hanging beneath Tower Bridge during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 3, 2012. 


“I was photographing the Greek section of a worldwide project on the “Jobless generation”. Through a colleague I found Manolis Ouranos , a young Athenian who had studied civil engineering but ended up working as a cook in a small tavern. Manolis was wandering around the tavern clearly nervous about the presence of my cameras. At some point I had asked him to show me his work area, the light came from a window on the side of the super small kitchen. Manolis seemed comfortable but at the same time pensive, this was the decisive moment.”

Canon 5D Mark III, lens 16-35mm at 16mm, f2.8, 1/80, ISO 800

Caption: Manolis Ouranos, a 30 year-old cook, poses for a picture in the Mavros Gatos (Black Cat) tavern in Psiri neighborhood in central Athens May 23, 2012. Manolis studied at Athens Technology University (TEI) for four years where he received a degree in civil engineering. He hoped to find a permanent job in public sector infrastructure but has been working as a cook for four months instead. He now takes cooking lessons which he funds with his salary as a cook.  

AMMAR AWAD, Jerusalem

“This was taken during a rally marking “Land Day” in East Jerusalem. Each year there are rallies across Israel and the Palestinian Territories marking “Land Day,” which commemorates the killing by Israeli security forces of six Arabs in 1976 during protests against government plans to confiscate land in northern Israel's Galilee region. The protesters began throwing stones toward Israeli police on the scene. Police forces responded with tear gas and pepper spray. The man in the picture was sprayed with pepper spray and then detained.”

Canon EOS Mark III, lens 16-35mm, f3.2, 1/250, ISO 200

Caption: Israeli border police officers use pepper spray as they detain an injured Palestinian protester during clashes on Land Day after Friday prayers outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City March 30, 2012. Israeli security forces fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades to break up groups of Palestinian stone-throwers as annual Land Day rallies turned violent. 

LUCAS JACKSON, United States

“When covering a disaster I find that my best work comes not from running all over the place looking for things but finding a situation that will visually explain the context and waiting for the characters or subjects who are involved to begin interacting with either each other or with the scene itself. In this case I had been talking with the subject for quite a while about what the flood had done to both her home and her business. We walked around the property and she showed me the incredible amount of water that had accumulated there. It had flooded enough to float the white limousine in the background on top of another car from over a block away. As we walked back towards the front of her home she noticed that her neighbor had pulled up across the street and she raced to embrace him as they had not seen each other since the storm. I rushed to capture that photograph but it lacked the context that the background offered in this image of her reaction following that embrace. The subject was overwhelmed by both the despair at her losses and the joy of knowing her neighbor was safe.”

Canon 5D Mark II, lens 16-35mm, f2.8, 1/200, ISO 400

Caption: A woman weeps after learning that a neighbor presumed missing is okay while cleaning out her home in a neighborhood heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy in the New Dorp Beach neighborhood of the Staten Island borough of New York, November 1, 2012. 

EDUARDO MUNOZ, United States

“After working during the day to document the impact of superstorm Sandy on folks from Manhattan, we decided to go early in the morning to try and catch a good skyline photo of Manhattan as soon as the storm left the area, weather conditions permitting. It was impossible to sleep that night, not because of the assignment itself but because the winds strongly hit the roof of my small room throughout the night.

At 6am I decided to go out. I went with my colleague Kena to the Hudson River waterfront walkway where you can see the huge Financial Center in Manhattan. That morning, you could feel the passing of something really huge in the Big Apple, something that the media had dubbed "FRANKENSTORM".”

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, lens 24 mm, f1.4, 1/500, ISO 1600

Caption: The skyline of lower Manhattan, as seen from Exchange Place, is mostly in darkness except for the Goldman Sachs building after a preventive power outage caused by giant storm Sandy, in New York October 30, 2012. 


“I was following the story on child hunger, and went more than once over the course of a few days, to a therapeutic feeding center at al-Sabyeen hospital in Sanaa where children who suffered from malnutrition were being treated, but I did not find good pictures. On this day while I was wandering in the corridors of the hospital, I noticed the mother of this child, nine-month-old Mohammed Saleh al-Ayadi, sitting in the emergency lounge. Her baby had signs of acute malnutrition clearly evident on his body. I had a feeling that this was the image that I had been searching for.”

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, lens 16-35mm at 35mm, f2.8, 1/50, ISO 500

Caption: A woman holds her malnourished child at a therapeutic feeding center at al-Sabyeen hospital in Sanaa May 28, 2012.


“This picture was taken during a two week project I did for Reuters about the conditions of African migrants in Israel. There are about 70,000 Africans leaving in Israel, some are considered job seekers and some refugees.

In recent years the Israeli government has been trying to fight their growing numbers by building a fence on its border with Egypt and conducting high-profile deportations.This image was taken at Levinsky Park in south Tel Aviv, which is known as a center for African migrants, where hundreds of them sleep, eat and look for work.”

Canon EOS 1 Mark IV, lens 16-35mm at 16mm, f2.8, 1/320, ISO 200

Caption: A Sudanese migrant sleeps under a slide as an Israeli girl slides down it at Levinsky park in South Tel Aviv June 16, 2012. About 60,000 Africans have crossed into Israel across its porous border with Egypt in recent years. Israel says the vast majority are job seekers, disputing arguments by humanitarian agencies that they should be considered for asylum.

MUKESH GUPTA, Indian-administered Kashmir

“As it was raining heavily, I was out to get some weather standalone pictures and in between I got a call from my friend about the Tawi River getting flooded and about a temple that was partially submerged. So, without wasting any time I went to shoot the flooded temple during heavy rains in Jammu.”

Canon EOS 5D, lens 16-35mm at 35mm, f8.0, 1/320, ISO 320

Caption: A temple stands amid the waters of the flooded river Tawi after heavy rains in Jammu August 19, 2012. 


“The Free Syrian Army is organized and knows what they are doing. Some members are former Syrian soldiers who defected but most are young civilians, some are 16 or 17 years old. They are fighting the Syrian Army with small arms and RPGs and without many supplies but somehow they set up a supply line to get fuel for their vehicles. They are also media friendly. At first they noticed my presence and were a little bit suspicious but after a while they began saying "Goran come here", though they didn't really speak English. They would tell me what missions they were conducting or show me some positions and ask if I wanted to join them.

On this day we were just talking on the street when we heard shooting and started running into the building. We heard a large explosion and that is when the rebel was hit by shrapnel. He and others entered the room and I was in a little bit of shock and took some out of focus pictures. It was such a small room with not much light that I had to push the camera up to 3000 ISO. I couldn't see much because there was a lot of smoke. It was really difficult technically to take these pictures. Beside the rebel there is a knife on the floor as people had just been eating lunch in the room.”

Canon EOS -1D Mark4, Shutter speed 1/25 sec, Aperture f/4, iso 400, lens 16-35 mm

Caption: A Free Syrian Army fighter screams in pain after he was injured in a leg by shrapnel from a shell fired from a Syrian Army tank in the Salaheddine neighbourhood of central Aleppo August 7, 2012. 


“In June we had a great mobilization of different sectors of the society for the Rio+20 United Nations sustainable development summit marking the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio-92) in Rio de Janeiro. Days before the beginning of the summit, people from different states and many countries started to arrive in Rio, both for the Rio+20 and for its parallel event, the People's Summit at Rio+20 for Social and Environmental Justice. I started to cover indigenous people at their temporary village, taking pictures of many cultural and religious ceremonies and meetings. As the People's Summit began, I started to look for indigenous people in the city, contrasting their traditional lifestyle with the urban visual. I found many using the subway, maybe the most urban kind of transport, to make their way to the Summit. I saw this picture and it was like the indigenous man had just entered a time machine."

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, lens 16-35mm, f2.8, 1/10 sec, ISO 250

Caption: An indigenous man stands in a subway train as he makes his way to the People's Summit at Rio+20 for Social and Environmental Justice in Rio de Janeiro June 20, 2012. 

BRIAN SNYDER, United States

“I spent one day while covering Governor Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign doing a “Day-In-the-Life” look at the candidate. About two-thirds of the way through the day Governor Romney was in a hold area making phone calls, working on a speech and consulting with advisors. I had left him in a small room to give him a break from my camera, when I noticed that through the activity reflected in a window to the room I could see him as well. Funnily enough, while I was making this photograph with him and the reflection, he motioned me into the room, saying it was no problem for me to be in the room with him; no break needed.”

Canon EOS-1DX, lens 50mm, f1.4m 1/160, ISO 3200

Caption: Staff members reflected off the window of the room where Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney works before a campaign rally in North Canton, Ohio October 26, 2012.

LUCAS JACKSON, United States

“This image was taken as the sun set on Election Day in the Rockaways. Located in the Beach 90s the iconic boardwalk was lifted by the storm surge from superstorm Sandy and pushed several hundred feet inland. The water broke and twisted the massive wooden structure and blocked vehicular traffic to the waterfront. As a result the Department of Sanitation demolished these long sections and piled them up on both sides of the street. In between these towering piles of demolished wood was an alleyway for passersby. This day had been sunny and warm and the sand pushed up by the surge had dried out, creating large dust clouds when vehicles drove the narrow lanes between the piles of debris. I had been photographing along the water and noticed that the dust created a nice layering effect when it was caught just right by the sun. Using that element I photographed for about an hour trying to get all of the elements together in a single frame as people and cars moved along the street. I had to walk along the street trying to find a spot that gave the best combination of foreground elements to combine with the larger buildings in the background and then wait for people to walk across the street to give the scene a sense of scale. I used a building on the left to shield me from the direct sun and took several dozen photos with different subjects filling the street, but it did not look right until this man walked past me and continued down the center of the street. I feel it is one of the most successful photographs I took during this disaster that visually articulates the scale of destruction and just how strong nature can be.”

Canon Mark IV, lens 70-200mm, f8, 1/1250, ISO 160

Caption: A man walks down Shore Front Parkway surrounded by debris pushed onto the streets by hurricane Sandy in the Queens borough region of the Rockaways in New York, November 6, 2012.


“I was embedded with a U.S. platoon holding position at a tiny base of Afghan police. In fact, it was a misnomer to call that a base – a drab building behind an adobe wall pocked with bullet holes after skirmishes. On the first day, it was relatively quiet – a bit of shooting which ceased by the evening. At 0500 next day, all hell broke loose – shooting, a brief lull and then again shooting. A group from our platoon would set off around every 40 minutes to patrol the area from where the shots were fired. This was not far away – a sparse grove and ruined houses some 100-150 yards away. Sometimes these groups were shot at. But groups changed, while I worked alone. I accompanied a few patrols in the morning and felt knackered by midday. It was sweltering hot already – about +40 Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit). So another group took off and I stayed at the base.

They were shot at again, and then it became really scary – one shot, then another, then bursts of machinegun fire and then it all turned into a deafening, unending roar. All of a sudden, an explosion roared. I can recognize explosions, and that one meant nothing good. Almost simultaneously, I heard someone shouting over the radio: “We need a doc!” The medic got ready, clutched his rucksack, I put on my flak jacket and a helmet, someone took a stretcher, and we all sprayed out of our shelter. If you ran straight, it wasn’t far – a small field and a shallow gutter. When we arrived, the first thought that flashed across my mind is – why the heck do we need a doc here? This man is dead! Half a human body was lying in the dust, parts below his waist were missing, and his clothes were gone. Everyone was busy – someone covered us, the medic started making injections, the stretcher was ready. And they kept shouting to the unconscious man: “Hold on! It’ll all be OK!” I asked if I can be of any help. I was asked to move away a machinegun. I gave a bottle of water to a soldier with a light leg wound. The guy drank it and furiously threw the bottle away. I was, meanwhile, taking pictures. I tried to be as discreet as I could. No one tried to stop me. The guy was put on the stretcher and everyone braced up for a dash back. A sergeant slung his rifle across my back, I was asked to carry a mine-detector. And so we dashed back. The guy’s arms hang down from the stretcher. Crossing the gutter knee-deep in muddy water, they shouted “raise his hands!” I took his left hand – it was warm but strangely light, as if hollow. I put it on his chest, but it fell down all the same.

A chopper arrived from Kandahar just 10 minutes after the explosion. Our city ambulances don’t come that fast! The board with a red cross made a circle above us and landed in a field in a purple cloud from a smoke grenade. The guy was taken in, they shouted something to the medics on board, made another injection and the chopper whizzed off. We remained in the dust and in screaming silence. Finally, it all caught up with me – I was short of breath and felt sick. We were back, at last. I gave back the rifle and the mine-detector. Many guys were crying; I took my time, taking pictures.A decision was taken to send those lightly wounded to a bigger base nearby in an armored vehicle. I said I would go too. On our way, a young soldier swooned, a shot of morphine followed. They have funny flak jackets – there is a tiny tab, you just pull it and off it goes! We waited in the hospital. I was sitting closer to the door, blocking the exit. The doctor asked me to help him, and I clumsily got out with his and my rucksacks, my sleeping bag and a machinegun of a wounded soldier. I heaped it all nearby. Only my cameras were still dangling on me. The guy was put on a stretcher and we carried him. Only the medics kept cool in this situation. Once we put the stretcher on a special stand with foil underneath, a female doctor said something like “you can bugger off now, we have to work”. This somewhat calmed us down.

That badly wounded soldier survived. They amputated a few of his fingers. He had numerous wounds in the pelvis area. He was 20, a year younger than my daughter Alinka.

I was editing my pictures later. Settling formalities with the army press service consumed two days. As it turned out, if a soldier is wounded or photographed during treatment, this is already invasion of his privacy, and you have to get his written agreement to publish pictures. They put it straight – he is alive, and he has rights. In principle, they are quite right. We just live in a different world. Those two featured in my pictures eagerly signed all the papers. They thanked me for the pleasure of my company and for the trifle that I had done. Some pictures will never be published. I, however, would have gladly not taken those pictures, but it just happened so.

I was told to head home. I had to go to a helicopter at the larger base. On our way there, a convoy bypassed the small building at the Afghan police station to leave food and water there. By bitter irony, shooting broke out once we had arrived and unloaded there. I even took a few pictures. We hit the road, and while moving we got a radio message that an army marksman had finally “got” the enemy shooter. I know this sniper – a small and skinny sergeant. I was told that he has bad vision in his left eye because a fragment was stuck there, but his right eye is OK. So he “got” that Taliban shooter. It was his 11th on that assignment. And I, for once, felt relief. A man was killed, but I received relief. Maybe, it is right that war is a business for the young, and I go home.”

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, lens 16-35mm at 16mm, f14, 1/640, ISO800


“It was early on Wednesday morning when I arrived at Hacipasa, a village just across the border from Syria in Turkey’s southern Hatay province. Set among rolling hills lined with olive trees, the village sits right across from the Syrian town of Azmarin, where heavy clashes had been taking place between Syrian government forces and rebels. The army had been shelling Azmarin and I was taking pictures of the shells landing in and around the town which sent plumes of dust and smoke rising above the town.

As the fighting intensified throughout the morning, villagers from Hacipasa told me Syrians were starting to flee across the Orontes River in the valley below me, some of them wounded. The river forms a natural frontier between Turkey and Syria along this part of the border.

Grabbing my cameras, I jumped into the car with a Reuters reporter and drove quickly down the narrow dirt road to the river to where the refugees were. As we neared the river the sound of the shelling became louder and louder. We could not drive our car right up to the river as villagers from Hacipasa had already moved dozens of cars and minibuses down the narrow track to help ferry the people away.

I jumped out of the car and a young man with a motorcycle came riding up and told me to jump on the back. So I slung both cameras around my neck and jumped on as he took me to the river crossing. The river at this point is very narrow, no more than 15 meters wide, and is secluded by low-hanging trees.

On one side is Turkey and on the other, Syria.

I could see rebel fighters on the other side carrying small children down to the bank, followed by others, mostly women. The rebels had strung two ropes across the river and were using them to pull two small metal boats back and forth to carry the fleeing people.

On the Turkish side they had set up a basic first aid point with bandages and stretchers to treat the wounded. I ran straight down to the edge of the river where villagers were pulling the boats across and began photographing the people coming across. Streams of people were emerging out of the trees on the other side, some of the children clinging to their mothers. Rebels carried other children in their arms to the waiting boats.

While I was documenting four wounded men, either rebel fighters in combat or civilians hit by shrapnel, were carried across. I kept on photographing as more and more people came across, making sure to change my memory cards every few minutes in case the military arrived and tried to confiscate my cameras. If they took the camera I knew at least I’d have the others safe in my pocket and would be able to get the pictures out. The whole time I was shooting I could hear the deafening sound of the shells landing only a couple kilometers away, a reminder of how close I was to the fighting.

As I was looking through the lens all I could think about was capturing the picture – the scene wasn’t really affecting me. It was only afterwards as I went through the pictures that it began to affect me. I have a 7-year-old son back at home in Istanbul and seeing these children, many even younger than him, crying and scared, not knowing what was going on, just made me think of him and that’s when the awful content of the picture really hits me.

What also got to me was every time I take pictures of children, even under such awful circumstances, there is always one child who starts smiling when he sees the camera.”

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV, lens 16mm, f2.8, 1/640

Caption: A wounded Syrian man lies on a boat as he is transferred to Turkey over the Orontes River on the Turkish-Syrian border near the village of Hacipasa in Hatay province October 10, 2012. Scores of Syrian civilians, many of them women with screaming children clinging to their necks, crossed Orontes, a narrow river marking the border with Turkey as they fled the fighting in Azmarin and surrounding villages. Residents from the Turkish village of Hacipasa, nestled among olive groves, helped pull them across in small metal boats. 


“The house in the picture was damaged on the first night of the 8-day war which was very horrible due to the heavy Israeli bombings. In the morning and after the sunrise, I went to the scene to take pictures of that area. I found the whole neighborhood was destroyed - as if an earthquake had hit the area. While shooting, the old man captured my attention as he was inspecting the severe damage to his house. I left the area quickly after this picture as Israeli warplanes started bombing again around us.”

Canon D1x, lens 50 mm, f1.4, ISO 200

Caption: A Palestinian man checks his damaged house after Israeli air strikes in Gaza City November 15, 2012. 


“At about 4:30pm on November 6, I went for the last time to the burnt areas at 'East Pikesake' village to take more pictures of the details of the ruins. While walking around, I saw this scene. It totally stopped me. No more walking, no more taking pictures, I just stood still staring at this scene which was breaking my heart. That little puppy was leaning on the leg of the dead one as if it was still alive. Normally, when I see scenes that are strong, I would just quickly take the photos, but this time, I forgot about taking a picture.

I started asking the people passing by whether there was anyone who would adopt the puppy. They said they are sad as well seeing it refusing to leave its mother, but could not adopt because they had their own difficulties as a result of the violence. Then I put down all my cameras and sat and watched this poor little puppy with extreme sadness.

After a while, I decided to take the picture no matter what. After a few shots, I paused, rubbed his head, he licked my hands and I continued taking pictures from different angles. By the time I had to leave, I was thinking about taking him with me to my hotel. But then there was one very kind local man on a motor bike who was watching me and the puppy. He said he could not adopt the puppy but still wanted to do something for it. Then we decided to send the puppy to the nearby monastery. We picked up the puppy and put him on the bike and finally, it was taken to the monastery. I will never forget his pitiful eyes as he left.

Although I wished to take the puppy back with me, under my situation I had to leave him with nothing but sadness, anger, and a couple of pictures. I came back half-believing that the monastery would be the best place for him, half-regretting that I didn't bring him with me.

I got back to Yangon and was busy with work for a few days until one morning when my ringing phone woke me up with a question: 'Minzayar, what happened to the puppy?'

I miss the puppy... Now I know, the thin little puppy has given me an inerasable question-mark, deep in my heart. He might survive at the monastery, or he might not, but the mark deep inside me that he left is going to last forever."

Canon EOS 5D, lens 50mm, f2.5, 1/60, ISO 200

Caption: A puppy stands by remains of a dog local residents said was its mother, days after it was killed in an area burnt in violence at East Pikesake ward in Kyaukphyu November 6, 2012. 


“I was driving on my way to the scene where a rocket had hit a 4-storey building when I heard sirens warning of incoming rockets. I stopped my car and saw people running from three different directions, two of them were female soldiers, one mother holding her baby and another two men. All the people in the picture were random people that were walking in the street at the time of the siren. I was on assignment covering the situation in southern Israel. The picture did not take long to take, I concentrated for a few seconds to try and make a picture out of all the chaos. I was also running when I heard the siren. I felt sympathy for the people in the picture who were in an extreme situation. About five minutes after the siren I went back to my car and continued to the scene where the rocket had hit a building.”

Caption: Israelis react and run for cover as a siren sounds warning of incoming rockets in the southern town of Kiryat Malachi November 15, 2012. 


“I went to photograph the great novelty in Commune 13 of Medellin, something that filled residents of the neighborhood and the whole city with curiosity. I was also intrigued since I know that neighborhood as a violent one and I know what life is like there; illegal armed groups fight for control of the zone where poverty and violence are common, amid many good people with brave hearts who overcome adversity.

Half the community was against the escalator, saying that there were more important needs, and the other half applauded it as bringing them a new light, making them feel less neglected. It turned the neighborhood into a tourist attraction opening possibilities for new cafes, hairdressers, shops, and even street vendors. During my ride up the escalator I crossed paths with beautiful girls, residents going about their daily tasks, Filipino, French, Canadian and Spanish tourists, and armed gangs trying to make this project work in their benefit. I managed to access the positions from where I wanted to photograph, and took this photo that for me holds the contrast of the different existing realities. There are the modern, shiny escalators in the middle of poverty. It was a day of visual impact for me, to watch children who didn't rest from riding up and down the escalator that enriched a poor neighborhood plagued by violence, within an invisible border."

Canon EOS-1D Mark IIN, lens 28mm, f2.8, 1/200, ISO 400

Caption: People travel on an outdoor public escalator at Commune 13 in Medellin January 12, 2012. A huge 384 meters (1,260 ft) long outdoor escalator, divided into six sections, has been erected in one of the poorest districts of Colombia's second largest city to help the 12,000 residents there get around. 


“It was a confusing situation. Early morning, the day after the lynching of a man who killed two children in a school with a machete, the people of the town captured four men accused of being accomplices to the lynched man. In the end the men were identified as thieves, people wanted to lynch them, burn them alive, and the police just watched, doing nothing. The men were rescued by additional police and a mediator, and were taken to the outskirts of town, where they were evacuated by army vehicle. This was the first time I was afraid to be in a difficult situation. It was as if people only wanted revenge for the death of the two children killed the day before in the school.

Canon Mark IV, lens 15mm, f 2.8, 1/ 800 ISO 250

Caption: A woman hits a man with a stick after he is accused of theft along with three other men at Tactic, in the Alta Verapaz region, about 189 km (117 miles) from Guatemala City, September 13, 2012. The local community tied up and beat four men who were accused of theft in the aftermath of a school killing. The man, who had entered a classroom and killed two children, ages 8 and 13, with a machete, was lynched and burnt alive by a mob, local media reported.


“There was a scheduled rally that day due to the official visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. It was apparent, early on, that it was not going to be a peaceful protest, and sure enough violence broke out around noon. There was a storm of rocks, teargas and police arrests. There were violent clashes in the street, and the crowds had grouped towards the lower part of Syntagma Square to protect themselves from the riot police. Suddenly, there was an outburst of cries and applause, as a naked man emerged from among the protestors, and started running towards me. I started to run too, taking pictures at the same time, waiting for him to pass by me, so that I could have a few frames of him running against a background of the Parliament. The symbolism was as plain as day in my eyes: a man standing naked right in front of the riot police and the Parliament, naked in the face of power imposition and the new austerity measures about to be taken. The protester kept running towards the police holding his arms up, as if to show he was unarmed, until he disappeared in the crowd, having passed by the Parliament.”

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, lens 16-35 mm at 35 mm, f9, 1/800, ISO 400

Caption: A naked protester runs past the parliament in Syntagma Square in Athens during a violent protest against the visit of Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel October 9, 2012. 


Account from Reuters photographer Aly Song

“Right now, buying a house like this would cost me more than 2 million yuan, but the government only offered me 260,015 to move, where could I go?” 67-year-old Luo Baogen said while smoking a cigarette in front of his partially demolished “nail house”, standing alone in the middle of a road in Wenling city, China’s eastern Zhejiang province. “Nail house” refers to the last houses in an area owned by people who refuse to move to make room for new developments.

About 500 kilometers (310 miles) from Shanghai, this house quickly became an Internet hot topic after local news reports bearing dramatic photographs went public.

It was difficult to believe that such a small city of Wenling was also undergoing great changes like Shanghai. On my train ride, I could see big and small construction sites on both sides of the railway. As soon as I stepped off the train, I could hear many noises of heavy machinery, constant reminders of the fast GDP development in this country.

I knew most of the “nail house” problems were as consequences of economic developments. This one was no exception.

After a brief interview, we learned that Luo Baogen and his wife were farmers who used to live in a quiet village too small to be found on Google map, with a few houses and some crop fields around the area. But just a few years ago, the high-speed railway ran through this village, and the local government decided to take advantage to turn this place into an economic development zone. Negotiation and demolition kicked off. Fast forward to today, and Luo and his wife are the last family refusing to move.

Luo told us he was distressed as feedback from the government changed all the time. He didn’t know what else he could do, so he just waits day after day by his house, puffing on cigarettes.

While we were interviewing Luo, dozens of other villagers came to us to complain about the local government’s behavior, but all of them asked to be off-the-record. In the meantime, an unidentified man kept using a mobile phone to take pictures of us to keep us on record.

I have covered several nail house stories in my photojournalism career, and sometimes, I can feel the same powerlessness and tininess as my interviewees, being in the way of the development of a fast-growing nation.

I sincerely hope that there will be a happy ending for this couple. I believe honest people like them, and many other citizens, deserve better, as they have already given so much to society.”

Nikon D7000, lens 42mm, f7.1, 1/2000, ISO 200

Caption: A car stops beside a house in the middle of a newly built road in Wenling, Zhejiang province, November 22, 2012. An elderly couple refused to sign an agreement to allow their house to be demolished. They say that compensation offered is not enough to cover rebuilding costs, according to local media. Their house is the only building left standing on a road which is paved through their village. 


“As the Yemeni army troops were pushing ahead with a U.S.-backed offensive to recapture main cities in the restive southern province of Abyan from the hands of al Qaeda-linked militants with tank and artillery shelling, the Defence Ministry provided a dozen frames from the frontline of battles, including this image. Al Qaeda-linked militants seized large swathes of territory in southern Yemen last year as then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh grappled with protesters demanding his overthrow. Saleh has quit in favor of his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Hadi Mansour, who was elected as president last February.”

Sony DSC H5, f5.6, ISO 125

Caption: An army tank fires during a firefight against militants linked to al Qaeda near the southern Yemeni city of Zinjibar May 30, 2012. 


“It was the final day of the nine day long festival and a huge crowd had gathered at Bhaktapur to observe the Bisket festival. Even the roofs, windows and balconies of the nearby houses were packed with people observing the festival. Everyone was looking for the best and the safest spot from where they could observe and enjoy the festival. I saw one house that was ideal for me to take pictures from but I couldn’t just crash into someone’s house without permission. I took my chance and rang the door bell. After some time a man looked out from the window of this house - he was the owner. I smiled at him and requested if I could go to the roof of his house to take some pictures of the festival. He asked are you from the press? I said yes and showed him my Journalist ID card that was hanging around my neck. He told me to wait and he came down to open the door. After looking closely at the ID card and few more questions he allowed me to enter his house. I thanked him and went straight towards the roof which was filled with people. I took a spot from where I could shoot pictures of the festival but I had not noticed this girl in the picture sitting with her mother until I heard her mother speaking with her. As soon as I saw her I noticed that this could be a good picture so I started to take photos of this girl after receiving permission from her mother. There’s a variation of crowd and isolation in one picture that I like a lot."

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, lens 16mm, f2.8, 1/41, ISO 400

Caption: A child looks on as she observes the Bisket festival at the ancient city of Bhaktapur near Kathmandu April 13, 2012. The nine-day festival takes place over the Nepalese New Year, during which the devotees try to pull the chariot to their respective locations and the winners are believed to be blessed for the coming year with good fortune.


"Campaign rallies are so alike, so much so, it can seem like you are covering the same rally over and over again. You rarely remember what state or city you are in. The only thing that makes them different is when you can actually shoot something you have not seen at other rallies. At this particular rally, since it was so bright outside, an opaque teleprompter was used. Having been uninspired by what I saw from my position up close, I roamed to the back of the rally. From there, I was able to see the way the teleprompter obscured President Obama's face; in fact, it appeared to replace his head entirely."

Canon EOS1D MK IV, lens 70-200mm, f5.6, 1/500, ISO 200

Caption: A teleprompter obscures U.S. President Barack Obama as he speaks during a campaign event at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio August 21, 2012.

RICK LOOMIS, United States

“Shooting the shuttle’s arrival and transport to its new home was a much-anticipated event in the Los Angeles Times photo department. Nearly every photographer was involved at some point along the journey – from creating time-lapse images to flying overhead, everyone played a part.

I was excited to photograph the shuttle that had long ago replaced the Challenger shuttle, which I watched explode with my own eyes from a second-floor window of my high school during my 10th grade year. That was a truly tragic event and this was a chance to come full circle with a joyous occasion for Angelinos.

My assignment was to follow the space shuttle Endeavour -- on foot, which began for me at about 6 in the morning. Before the day was over I’d spent 17 hours walking much of the 12-mile distance the shuttle travelled from Los Angeles International Airport to the California Science Center.

A substantial crowd lined the sidewalks as it moved slowly through the streets of Los Angeles, much of it through neighborhoods with lower socioeconomic situations. I’m sure for many who saw it from their windows or balconies it might be the only time they ever lay eyes on it. As it moved, I tried to anticipate where an interesting juxtaposition might occur between the Endeavour and its surroundings. Sometimes racing ahead, sometimes deliberately staying behind, I climbed up on roofs, begged my way into houses – anything to try to put myself in a good position.

For this image, which was made along Crenshaw Drive, I found a second floor balcony that afforded a nice view of people crowding the balconies on the opposite side of the street. But what caught my eye more than that was the lone man standing on the roof as the enormous nose cone of the shuttle crawled into view.

I don’t think I need to see the shuttle in its new museum space. The site of the Endeavour dominating the streets of Los Angeles is forever burned into my memory.”

Canon EOS 1D Mark IV, f11, 1/250, ISO 100

Caption: A man takes a photo as Space Shuttle Endeavour travels to the California Science Center in Inglewood, Los Angeles October 13, 2012. 


“I had found what I thought was a safe spot from the side of a Nyala (an armored police vehicle) when the miners armed with machetes and sticks (one of the men in the picture is carrying a firearm in his right hand) approached the police. I knew this would not end well. It had reached a boiling point and from my "safe spot" there was no way of getting a picture. At the same time I had inhaled teargas that the police had fired at the miners.

I used the opportunity to take a few frames from behind the policeman when he was firing at them. I managed to capture the fear in the face of the miners. A few seconds after that most of them were dead and some badly injured."

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, lens 70-200mm at 102mm, f5.6, 1/320, ISO 250

Caption: A policeman (R) fires at protesting miners outside a South African mine in Rustenburg, 100 km (62 miles) northwest of Johannesburg, August 16, 2012. South African police opened fire against thousands of striking miners armed with machetes and sticks at Lonmin's Marikana platinum mine, leaving several bloodied corpses lying on the ground. 


“This picture was taken during the Punk Music Show as they celebrated Myanmar's New Year water festival in Yangon. When I asked, he told me that he had made the jacket himself. He loves Aung San Suu Kyi very much and that’s why he wears it."

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, lens 50mm, f2.2, 1/1250, ISO 500

Caption: A young man dressed as a punk with pictures of Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi on his shirt, attends a punk show during the water festival at a music bar in Yangon April 11, 2012. Myanmar celebrates the New Year Water Festival of Thingyan during the month of Tagu, which usually falls around mid-April.


“There is a new tradition in Krasnoyarsk, once every two years there is a weeklong ballet forum. Famous figures from the Russian ballet come to the city for a series of shows, seminars and other events. One of the main events is a competition amongst the most talented young performers from different types of ballet for a prize of performing with the stars in town. I had the idea to follow some of the participants, knowing that the physical and psychological stresses are immense, and to see how they prepare for this challenge.

Having got the access I required, I chose a pair of young dancers from south Siberia who had already won awards across the county – Marina Volkova, 16, and Yuri Kudryatsev, 18, – both of whom had studied ballet from the age of 4. I followed them for a couple of days before the competition and saw their complete dedication, how they exhausted themselves and the reactions of their tutors to the slightest mistake.

This photograph showing Yuri studying English whilst doing the splits on the top bunk in his dormitory was part of the story. The preparation regime that these young people embark upon I can only compare to an Olympic class athlete, as they mix their training with all other student activities. You can watch TV as you stretch ligaments on a training machine, or do your homework, like Yuri here, as you train your muscles into certain poses. Where else could you see this but in the dormitory of future ballet stars? The rest was easy; all I had to do was press the shutter button.

Marina and Yuri later confirmed the hopes of their teachers, receiving prizes from the Krasnoyark Governor and Mayor of Krasnoyarsk for 2nd and 3rd prizes in the personal category respectively.”

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, lens 16-35mm at 16mm, f5, 1/400, ISO 1600

Caption: Yuri Kudryavtsev, 18, student of the Krasnoyarsk choreographic college, does leg-splits while reading a book in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, October 4, 2012. Kudryavtsev, accompanied by his fellow student, Marina Volkova, 16, prepared before taking part in a professional one-week-long ballet contest, dedicated to the 85th anniversary of a well-known Russian choreographer Yuri Grigorovich, along with actors from opera and ballet theatres and graduates of choreographic colleges from different Russian cities. Kudryavtsev and Volkova are winners of the 2011 Grand Prix of the St.-Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Theatre all-Russian ballet schools competition.


“Krishanadevpur village is about 280 km (173 miles) north of Kolkata and I was assigned to cover one of the very traditional festivals called “Chadak”. I was looking for pictures in the area where people were participating in the festival. More than a thousand people were gathered out of which I saw a very strange Hindu devotee having his neck pierced with a knife. The man was also having two metal hooks attached to his back. So I started taking his pictures from different angles. I tried talking to this man to get more information but he didn’t utter a word.”

Canon EOS 5D Mark II, lens 16-35mm, f1.4, ISO 250

Caption: A Hindu devotee with his neck pierced with a knife attends the "Chadak" ritual at Krishanadevpur village, north of Kolkata April 13, 2012. Hundreds of Hindu devotees attend the ritual, held to worship the Hindu deity of destruction Lord Shiva, on the last day of the Bengali calendar year. The photographer was unable to check the veracity of the action of this devotee. 


“I met Joseba Etxaburu while photographing the San Fermin festival in Pamplona, which happens to be my hometown, in 2005. I had already heard stories about this Basque fireman turned photographer and was eager to meet him. A photo of his of a bull attempting to gore a runner at the entrance to the bullring was one of the most amazing ones I had seen of the bull run so far. At the time I started working with him, Joseba was getting a kick out of shooting “Las Vaquillas”; the release of wild cows into the bullring following the running of the bulls. Revelers entertain themselves after the bull run trying to dodge young cows and we, photographers, can’t resist taking photos of them getting tossed in the air. Joseba got tired of shooting the action from the stands with a 70-200mm lens and decided to get down and dirty. That means going into the bullring with a wide angle lens and shooting the revelers and the heifers that chase them, up close and personal. That has become his trademark. Joseba is willing to take risks and that shows in his photographs. I’m not sure whether it has to do with his training as a fireman or it’s just a character trait, or possibly both, but the truth is that no one shoots “Las Vaquillas” like he does, most of us don’t dare to! He’s bold and has fast reflexes. Unfortunately this time, the wild cow was faster than him and I happened to be there to snap the picture (from the safety of the stands, I must admit).

After checking his camera was working properly and he had only minor scratches on his elbow he told me: “Susi, I’m OK. The only thing that got hurt is my pride, but I’m glad you were here to record this.” It was the first time he had been tossed by a wild cow while shooting “Las Vaquillas”.

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV, lens 70-200mm, f3.5, 1/640, ISO 500

Caption: Reuters photographer Joseba Etxaburu is knocked down by a wild cow during festivities in the bullring following the sixth running of the bulls of the San Fermin festival in Pamplona July 12, 2012. Etxaburu suffered some scratches on his right elbow but was able to continue shooting afterwards.
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